“…of All the Girls in the World, You Sent me Sook-hee. For that, I am ‘slightly’ grateful” – Izumi Hideko.
Already at four times watching this movie! And all I gotta say is that Mr Park and GAIN are geniuses! GAIN of course for having been able to come up with one of the best feature themes ever! Ever since Friday Night, I have not listened to any other music other than The Handmaiden OST and ‘The Footsteps of my Dear Love’ has to be repeated every time it shows up in my queue, and dares to end! This song is just so Godly!
As for Mr Park Chan-wook, there is nothing more to say about his film-making ability (and to think that he started out a a mere critic!), no, what I am praising him here for is his decision to use this song as the ED for the movie, because my God, as soon as the real moon changes into the painting on Hideko’s room’s double doors, geniusly stopping at Sook-hee’s bed, and then the title comes on and the song starts, I am instantly craving another go at the movie! I am already missing Hideko and Sook-hee and want to just see them again!
Like, this is pure genius!
Sadly, I can only watch it once a day!
Sorry I couldn’t write after yesterday’s viewing but I was just so smashed (there had to be that co-worker that decided to go out for drinks after work and you don’t want to be that one bitch that refuses so I had to tag along) but I totally remember how yesterday’s viewing went! yesterday, having gone for an earlier show, I had some time to kill so I decided to take my Fingersmith book with me and managed to get to the point where Sue was on the train to Briar. I of course couldn’t help seeing the differences when the movie begun and finding myself actually missing certain characters and scenes that could never make it into the story of the movie!
For example, no chance of a peek into Sook-hee’s childhood like in the book, no Mr Ibbs, no Charlie Wag T.T, missed that possessive nature of Mrs Sucksby of Sue, but then again, since her arc was none-existent in the movie, I guess focusing on her would have been a waste of time. And if Mrs Sucksby wasn’t in, then the others had no place since, really, all other characters there at Lant Street revolved around her.
Having gotten wasted after hours of work after the movie, I struggle to recall what I took away from it in the third viewing but I do remember one thing that might shock some of you.
I felt sorry for Fujiwara! Unlike others, I actually don’t hate him as much! I hated Charles in the book but not Fujiwara here! Here, he actually believed in his Count fantasy to a fault of being a gentleman actually! His greed of that high life saved us from what he could have done that is worse! He was more interested in his high class life than harass Hideko! Really, the only thing that made me hate him a bit was what he had planned for Sook-hee in the asylum! Speaking of that restaurant scene, I finally got what was going on there fully on the third viewing. Specifically, Hideko’s expression here as she listened to Fujiwara’s plans for her Sook-hee!
“When someone talks shit about your girl” – should be the meme in big bold letters accompanying Hideko’s expression here, where she looks like she is smiling but most definitely is not! I could finally see the anger behind, the words of venom in her mind towards Fujiwara and totally looking forward and wanting to be there for what her Uncle would do to him!
But to the subject, I am not sure how Mr Park managed it but he made me feel for Fujiwara’s death! Though he did not deserve it, he actually got a very good death! I guess it was his own reward? (pls someone get this ref >.<)
Anyway, the way his death was presented was just emotional demanding! The way they used his breath to signal his end, and to also show how his life flashed before his eyes just before he died, his life that was strangely filled with Hideko! On my third I finally got thinking! Remember when he said that he liked Hideko ‘slightly’? Seeing as all his last visions were of Hideko, I believe it was not just simply slightly! He loved Hideko and there is two things that support this truth!
During their dinner, he said to Hideko that she should not pity him if his love for her were to lead him to ruin! That love lead him to ruin and yes, he did love her truly, if you remember what he said to the Uncle before his death about him ‘too’ going soft and dull, this means that he too went soft and lost to his emotions for Hideko!
Another point is that Hideko used the word ‘slightly’, in quotations might I add, to show her appreciation for Fujiwara choosing to send her Sook-hee out of all the girls in the world. We all know that Hideko is not just ‘slightly’ grateful for Sook-hee, she is very grateful, forever grateful! if you think of that and what the count said, then you know he had more feelings for Hideko than just ‘slightly’!
And to nail the point home, of course there are the flashes of Hideko as he took his last breath. His very last was when she was smiling at him as she rested her head on Sook-hee’s shoulder as they travelled on the river by the small boat. The way that scene was executed, the sound being that of only his breathing, the way the picture of him froze, then slowly faded to black, totally signalling him fazing away.
Oh hell no, I am not going to cry for you Fujiwara!
*Rubs eyes furiously*
Deciding to go from that right to Hideko and Sook-hee last sex scene at first it seemed odd but on my fourth viewing it made sense! There were two sex scenes in the movie (with the first being showed in two POVs) and they are all necessary! Where as the first both were in it with different goals in mind, with deceit abound, both playing roles and not being themselves, and thus taking away from it the meaning of love-making and making it just a sex scene, the second se scene, the love scene, is necessary because here, they are both themselves! There is no hiding behind lies and hidden motives! The Uncle is dead, Fujiwara is dead, they are far away from home, out to see, Hideko no longer needs to play the innocent lamb needing to learn something and Sook-hee isn’t using excuses to make love to Hideko.
Here they are mutually making love, they are themselves, they even are comfortable enough to turn objects of sadism to those of 100% pleasure without the pain. The fact that they are doing that shows that Sook-hee accepts Hideko’s other half, the one damaged from all those indecent books. it also shows that Hideko took something useful away from that horror of a life and made use of it in her free real life!
And I am totally just saying everything that should be said in movie reviews, aren’t I? Time to stop!
So then what’s the plan? Well, I have just ordered a new copy of Fingersmith (the BBC special) 2 Disc SP Edition from Netherlands and currently, as I said, I’m in the middle of re-reading the book, then I am going to go see if I can find STR versions of the American DVD subs so I can time them to the FR Blu-ray. I will then re-watch the drama special, finish reading the book and then start the real review, comparing all three versions for this greatest (yuri) love story ever told!
Sadly, we have to wait until August for the official subtitles for the Extended Edition (Why Murica, why?!!!!)! But believe you me, We will be re-visiting the topic once August rolls around! Already pre-ordered my copy! Not waiting around for anything! Really, I am pretty sure that I will still be doing Ahgassi posts even then so it will only be a matter of taking a step back!
I just want to save Sook-hee for the real reviews because my God, there is no way this girl is a n00b! I simply rafuse to believe it! So much to talk about her! All her scenes were magnificent, which is why I am having trouble finding one to talk about before the actual review, God, I hate the word review! I mean before my final thoughts on the movie, like I do others! But this being The Handmaiden, those thoughts are going to rival the longest fic you have ever read! So be prepared! You should be, you know what this movie means to me!
And I will leave it at that! But before I go, to those of you out there that have been affected by the current pessimistic age, see after the jump for proof of my four viewings experience n four days!
April 26, 2017 at 07:24
Remember the painting or drawing where Fujiwara replaced the woman with the octopus with Hideko? Fujiwara is fetishing/fantasizing/perversing but love it is not from my perspective. Hideko leaning to Sookhee as Fujiwara’s last sight was a gift of truth.
June 6, 2017 at 11:16
Like your review and I love this film too.
However I don’t think the emotion of Fujiwara to Hideko is Love. It’s more like the desire of conquer as a male, or a trophy for his inferiority as a lower class. He was greedy and confident, once he got money and sent Sookee to madhouse( he could leave by then), but he choose to stay with Hideko and proposed the second marriage and even trying to ripe her when Hideko was trapping him. He lost becox his ego, not becox love.
November 13, 2019 at 18:25
Hi. I’ve watched the movie twice and I really don’t get why does Hideko and Fujisawa have to fake sex with each other to make sook hee hear it. If you know can you explain to me why? Thank youu! 🙂 Btw I really love the movie sooooo much and I could even watch it more than 100 times! Hahahaha 😂
November 13, 2019 at 18:58
First of all thanks for the comment and visiting
They didn’t fake it for Sook-hee. It was for the other people to convince them they were married, hence the need for the blood on the sheet.
And Fujiwara wanted to a actually do it, only Hideko did not want to.
Sook-hee just thought they did it for real. She was just that bit jealous since…you know